Tuesday, June 24, 2008
USS Farragut (DD-348)
Figure 1: USS Farragut (DD-348) Photographic reproduction of a painting by Walter L. Greene, depicting the ship as first completed, circa the mid-1930s. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 2: USS Farragut in harbor, circa 1935. Note that her hull number was then painted low on the hull, just above the boot topping. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 3: The USS Balch (DD-363) appears to be coming alongside of another ship with USS Aylwin (DD-355), USS Monaghan (DD-354), USS Farragut (DD-348) and another unidentified destroyer in San Diego circa 1936. Courtesy Darryl Baker. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 4: Destroyer Squadron Twenty (DesRon 20), five of the squadron's ships moored together, circa 1936. The destroyers are (from left to right): USS Dewey (DD-349), USS Farragut (DD-348), USS Worden (DD-352), USS Hull (DD-350) and USS Aylwin (DD-355). U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 5: USS Farragut (DD-348) underway during maneuvers staged for Movietone News, off San Diego, California, 14 September 1936. She is being overflown by five patrol planes. That at left is a PBY-1 of Patrol Squadron Eleven-F (VP-11F). The other four are P2Ys of Patrol Squadron Seven-F (VP-7F). U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 6: USS Farragut leading a column of Destroyer Squadron Twenty ships during maneuvers staged for Movietone News, off San Diego, California, 14 September 1936. The next ship astern is USS Aylwin (DD-355). U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 7: USS Farragut (DD-348) at sea, December 1943. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 8: USS Farragut underway off the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, 29 September 1944. Her camouflage scheme is Measure 31, Design 3d. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Named after the famous Civil War Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, the 1,365-ton USS Farragut (DD-348) was the lead ship in a class of eight destroyers and was built by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation at Quincy, Massachusetts. She was launched on 15 March 1934 and was sponsored by Mrs. James Roosevelt, the daughter-in-law of President Franklin Roosevelt. Farragut was commissioned on 18 June 1934 and was the first US Navy destroyer built in more than a decade. The ship was approximately 341 feet long and 34 feet wide, and had a top speed of 37 knots and a crew of 160 officers and men. Farragut was armed with five 5-inch guns, eight 21-inch torpedo tubes and depth charges. Additional anti-aircraft guns were added during World War II.
Farragut was based at Norfolk, Virginia, during her shakedown cruise but was transferred to the Pacific in the spring of 1935. She was based at San Diego, California, and took part in numerous fleet training exercises. In October 1939, Farragut was sent to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and was stationed there until the Japanese attacked the naval base on 7 December 1941. Farragut was slightly damaged during the attack on Pearl Harbor and, following the attack, was assigned to patrol and escort operations between Hawaii and California.
On 15 April 1942, Farragut was attached to the USS Lexington (CV-2) task force as it left Pearl Harbor to rendezvous with the USS Yorktown (CV-5) task force. Once these task forces united, they headed for the Coral Sea off the coast of Australia. From 4 to 8 May 1942, all of these ships fought the Battle of the Coral Sea, which was the first major carrier confrontation between the United States and Japan. Although the battle was basically a tie in terms of tonnage sunk, the Battle of the Coral Sea was a major American tactical victory because it stopped the Japanese advance in the South Pacific and it saved both Australia and New Zealand from invasion. During the battle, Farragut provided anti-aircraft fire support for the other ships in the task force.
Farragut remained in the South Pacific area until the end of 1942. In August she escorted aircraft carriers for the invasion of Guadalcanal and Tulagi and took part in the Battle for the Eastern Solomon Islands. For the remainder of the Guadalcanal Campaign, Farragut was primarily assigned to patrol and escort duties. She was sent back to California in February 1943 for an overhaul. In April, Farragut was sent to Alaska to take part in the invasions of Attu and Kiska in May and August. After that she participated in the invasions of the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, from November 1943 to February 1944. Farragut then was sent south to support the landings on the north shore of New Guinea before returning to the central Pacific to take part in the invasions of Saipan and Guam. She also participated in the Battle of the Philippine Sea in June 1944.
Toward the end of 1944, Farragut escorted oil tankers that were needed by the fleet in the Western Pacific. Although she successfully completed numerous escort missions throughout the rest of the war in the Pacific, Farragut also was assigned to radar picket duty during the Battle for Okinawa in April and May 1945. Shortly after this battle ended, Farragut was sent back to the United States. She arrived at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York, on 25 September 1945. Farragut was decommissioned almost a month later on 23 October and was finally sold for scrapping on 14 August 1947.
Farragut took part in most of the major battles in the Pacific and received 14 battle stars for her service during World War II. Certainly, Admiral Farragut would have been proud that his namesake had such an active and notable wartime career.
Posted by Remo at 8:19 AM